Thursday, December 14, 2006

The greatest GUITARISTS of hard rock?

Ok guys, expanding on the post from the other day, let's break it down a bit and talk about the best guitarists.

So here's the rules:

Top ten guitarists from the list, only including the bands that you actually think SHOULD be on there, and very importantly, only considering that guitarists work with THAT band (or those bands, because a couple guitarists have been in more than one of those bands). Now, if you think some of the bands I marked as "shouldnt be on the list" SHOULD be, then feel free to choose their guitarists.

For example, I think Robert Fripp is one of the greatest guitarists of all time; but as I said, King Crimson are a prog rock band (really THE original prog rock band) not a hard rock band. Billie Gibbons is one of the greatest blues rock guitarists ever etc; and of course the Yardbirds had Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, AND Eric Clapton, but they were a bluesrock band (and with those guitarists, of course they were - 2 of the top five guitarists of all time there, 3 if you expand it to the top 20).

Yes, a hell of a lot of guitarists are going to be missing here; this is ONLY based on the VH1 list, otherwise this could take YEARS. I can easily think of fifty or more missing hard rock and metal guitarists, because their bands arent on the VH1 list (John Petrucci anyone? Yngwie Malmsteen?). Also remember, this is both hard rock, and heavy metal. If it were jsut one or the other, the list would be very different.

Even just limiting it to the VH1 list; cutting down to ten is painful. When I first went through the list, I pulled up 40 great guitarists from it.

Anyway, here's the short list:
1. Jimi Hendrix (the Jimi Hendrix Experience)
2. Eric Clapton (Cream)
3. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
4. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
5. Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow)
6. Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
7. Brian May (Queen)
8. Randy Rhoads (Ozzy)
9. Zakk Wylde (Ozzy)
10. Slash (Guns N' Roses)
Yeah, there are some more great guitarists on the list, but I had to cut it off somewhere. Here are the rest of the folks I would put "on the list" if I didnt have to cut it off, presented in no particular order:
Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing (Judas Priest)
Dave Murray and Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden)
Uli Roth and Michael Schenker (The Scorpions)
Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman (Slayer)
Scott Ian and Dan Spitz (Anthrax)
Al Petrelli (Megadeth, Blue Oyster Cult, Alice Cooper)
Marty Friedman (Megadeth)

Gary Moore (Thin Lizzy)
Steve Morse (Deep Purple)
Ted Nugent (Ted Nugent)
Phil Campbell (Motorhead)
Viv Campbell (Def Leppard, Whitesnake)
Darrell Abbott (Pantera)
Vernon Reid (Living Colour)
Kirk Hammett (Metallica)
Ace Frehly (Kiss)
Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)
Dave Navarro (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Janes Addiction)
John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains)
Joe Perry (Aerosmith)
Angus Young (AC/DC)
Jim Martin (Faith No More)
Jakey Lee (Ozzy, Ratt)
Warren DeMartini (Ratt - no, seriously he is good. Seriously, I mean it)
All of those guys are spectacular guitarists, but they aren't individually among the top ten guitarists on the list, as taken only from their work with the bands on the list. Some of them had spectacular solo work outside of those bands, some of them were great, but not individually outstanding, some of them were great when taken together with their co-guitarist etc...

For example, in the case of King and Hanneman, Murray and Smith, Tipton and K.K. Downing, Uli Roth and Michael Schenker etc...; I left them out because they are great as members of the band, but their guitar work doesn't standout as individually great work. Or rather, their work as members of those bands doesnt stand out (Uli Roth has done some spectacular work outside of the Scorpions for example).

Oh and yes, if you take the whole of their career, some of the guitarists outside of the top ten are better than those IN the top ten (like Steve Morse or Gary Moore who are both in the top 20 guitarists of all time); but as I said, we're only considering the work with the bands in question.

I also left off two more of the greatest guitarists of any kind in all of history, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani; who respectively toured with Deep Purple, and Whitesnake for one album each late in both bands careers, because I don't consider them to have ever been integral members of either band; unlike say Steve Morse, who Replaced Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple.

Oh, and I plan on doing this with the singers as well; and if their is interest drummers and bassists.

At some point, I'll do the same thing for ALL metal and hard rock guitarists, vocalists etc... not jsut on the lsit, but that's a HUGE number of artists to work through and I'm feeling pretty lazy right now.

Ok folks, your turn.